Former Spruce Head woman pleads guilty to stalking Dartmouth professor

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 23, 2012, at 2:16 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 58-year-old woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to stalking her former male friend and immediately after that hearing a civil trial began in which the former companion accuses her of wrecking a pickup truck she sold to him and embezzling money from his household bank account.

Jill L. Wilcox pleaded guilty in Knox County Superior Court to stalking, and two counts of violating a protective order. Wilcox pleaded guilty as part of an Alford plea in which she did not admit to committing the offenses but agreed the prosecution had enough evidence that a conviction was likely.

Jury selection was scheduled Monday for the criminal charges but the two sides reached an agreement Monday.

The district attorney’s office agreed to the plea as part of a deferred disposition. Under terms of the agreement, the criminal charges will be dropped if she refrains from further harassment for the next two years and agrees to undergo a psychological evaluation.

The victim in the case, Leonard Greenhalgh, spoke and said he was satisfied with the outcome of the criminal case but wanted the court to know the severity of the stalking. He said she has violated protective orders on 12 occasions including most recently in the spring at Dartmouth College where he has been a professor since 1978.

Wilcox, who now lives in Vermont, stalked her former friend from September 2010 through February 2011, according to the complaint filed in court.

In one of the statements filed by the victim with police, Greenhalgh said that Wilcox attempted a scheme to get his cats by contacting his ex-wife and asking her to seek custody of the animals and then turn them over to her. The former wife refused to cooperate with Wilcox, according to the man’s complaint filed in court.

Later Tuesday morning, during the civil trial, Greenhalgh said he met Wilcox 20 to 30 years ago when she worked as a janitor and then cashier at Dartmouth. They became friends and then started dating and they lived together at his home in Spruce Head.

Greenhalgh said he found out in 2010 that Wilcox had been taking money out of a household account that was to be used for things such as cat food for his pets. He said in addition to purchasing supplies for the cats, she spent the funds on other things such as taxes on a $500,000 inheritance she said she received from her mother’s estate.

He also said he paid more than $12,000 for a pickup truck that she owned and she turned the title over to him but never signed it. She then wrecked the truck, he said.

His civil lawsuit seeks compensation for money she took out of his household account as well as for the truck.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm presided over both the criminal hearing and the nonjury civil trial on Tuesday.

Wilcox is represented by attorney Steven Peterson of Camden. The professor is represented by attorney Christopher MacLean of Camden.

The civil trial concluded Tuesday afternoon. Justice Hjelm took the matter under advisement and is expected to issue a ruling within 60 days.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/10/23/news/midcoast/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stalking-dartmouth-professor/ printed on August 22, 2014